Prop 8 Trial Closing Arguments

And having read the transcripts of the closing arguments I have to say it. The proponents of Prop 8 haven’t got a shred of a legal argument. Their position comes down to an old favorite “The children”.

It’s almost as though the Prop 8 proponents make our case for us. Take the issue of children. Heterosexuals can have kids willy-nilly. They don’t have to be in stable relationships, or even WANT the child. But they’ll use their religious bigotry to say that they’ll marry the opposite sex partner.

That’s all well and good but how many of those marriages end up in divorce? From empirical observation I’d say a good portion of them in end in divorce.

But a same sex couple has to involve a third party be they male-male or female-female couples. They actually WANT those children. And the recent longitudinal study on lesbian parents finds that their kids are well adjusted, more so than the normative families.

Of course this is something I’ve known for awhile now. Good friend of mine is a psychologist and even he says the sex of the parents doesn’t matter, it’s the consistency and love that matter most for kids.

I have to give props to the Olson and Boies team. They’re really putting together a solid case here. But here’s a thought that occurred to me a little while ago. If Judge Walker rules in our favor, it assures an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC).

I’m not a legal scholar (But I do know a number of attorneys.) and I have to wonder. What happens if the USSC refuses to hear an appeal? It means that the case law stands.

I have a feeling the USSC might not want to touch this one.

6 thoughts on “Prop 8 Trial Closing Arguments

  1. I would venture to say that the marriage issue will get to the Supreme Court in one way or another, sooner or later. The inconsistency in laws among individual states, and the many legal questions as a result, will eventually have to be addressed.

  2. I’m with you on your thoughts about the USSC not taking the appeal. I’ve been telling everyone who will listen to me the same thing.

    If we win the trial then Prop. 8 will be struck down in California and will affect California only. Then the Defendants need to make a decision. If they chose to appeal, the 9th Circuit will hear the case. If the 9th Circuit sides with us, that puts the anti-gay marriage amendments of the other states that compose the 9th Circuit (Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, and Arizona) on very shaky ground. They could all be overturned relatively easily.

    There is a possibility that the Defendants may choose NOT to appeal the lower court’s decision. The goal of this strategy would be to isolate the court’s reasoning to California and not risk a higher court affirming it and giving it precedential effect. Considering how much of a loser case they have, they’d be stupid to appeal. But nobody ever accused NOM of being smart about their legal strategies.

    If they appeal and lose at the 9th Circuit, and petition the USSC on appeal, I think the Court will not take the case. The Court will wait until there is a split among the circuits on this issue before they decide to get involved, and that could take many years.

  3. The bigots’ message seems to be that heterosexuals are irresponsible, so gay people have to be penalized in order to make heterosexuals behave properly. The theory is that if gay people can’t marry, heterosexual men will marry the women they knock up, heterosexual couples won’t engage in adultery, nor will they divorce. Of course same-sex marriage was illegal across the nation until 2004 and that never prevented heteros from doing any of that. Furthermore, studies show that states with bans on SSM have the highest rates of divorce, out-of-wedlock births and other such issues, whereas MA has the lowest–and it’s had SSM for six years now. Obviously punishing gay people is an ineffective way of getting straight people to be more responsible.

  4. I think if the Supremes decline to hear the case, it would only be good law in the 9th Circuit. Oddly enough, I’m confronting a “circuit split” between the 1st and 9th circuits in my disability discrimination case against the airline company). The 9th circuit, however, tends to be more liberal, so it would probably be the Prop-8 proponents trying to appeal.

    Tom (not a lawyer yet) Seymour

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